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Theodicy of Love

Cosmic Conflict and the Problem of Evil

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If God is all-powerful and entirely good and loving, why is there so much evil in the world? Based on a close canonical reading of Scripture, this book offers a new approach to one of the most troubling challenges facing Christian theism: reconciling the Christian confession of a loving God with the realities of suffering and evil. John Peckham offers a constructive proposal for a theodicy of love that upholds both the sovereignty of God and significant human freedom. Peckham suggests that God's love is at the center of a cosmic drama that provides significant insights into the problem of evil. The author shows how Scripture points toward this cosmic conflict framework for thinking about God's character of love in relation to the world. Professors and students of theology, philosophy, and apologetics will value this work.

1. The Problem of Evil and the Free Will Defense
2. Love, Evil, and God's Unfulfilled Desires
3. The Cosmic Conflict Framework
4. The Nature of the Conflict and Rules of Engagement
5. Evil Defeated but Not Yet Destroyed
6. Evaluating the Theodicy of Love


"John Peckham's Theodicy of Love fills an important gap in the literature addressing the problem of evil; his book is both faithful to Scripture and philosophically sound. Peckham effectively builds his case in a manner that neither affirms evil as necessary; diminishes genuine human freedom; nor surrenders divine omnipotence, omniscience, or omnibenevolence. His bold treatment of cosmic conflict in relation to the problem of evil is insightful. Well done!"

Paul Copan, Pledger Family Chair of Philosophy and Ethics, Palm Beach Atlantic University; coauthor of Did God Really Command Genocide?

"John Peckham's new book builds on his previous acclaimed work on the love of God. In this book he confronts head-on what is arguably the single most difficult challenge to the Christian conviction that God's character is one of perfect benevolence. While the book is aimed specifically at the philosophical problem of evil, Peckham comes armed for the task with an impressive command of biblical and theological scholarship, as well as the relevant philosophical literature. This is a book to be welcomed by all who are invested in this vitally important and deeply contested issue."

Jerry L. Walls, author of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory

"A new Peckham book is always an event, and Theodicy of Love does not disappoint. Theologically and philosophically adept, exegetically sound, and analytically rigorous, it offers a rich biblical theodicy in the face of the evidential problem of evil. Peckham's contribution goes beyond the limitations of a freewill defense and avoids skeptical theism while acknowledging significant epistemic limitations--all while skillfully avoiding an array of potential pitfalls. As fascinating as it is fearless, Peckham's judicious and perspicacious account assigns primacy to the suffering love of God, who--while operating within certain temporary covenantal strictures--is demonstrating his faithfulness and goodness against cosmic allegations to the contrary. This is an important contribution to theodicy that illuminates a plethora of challenging questions."

David Baggett, Houston Baptist University

The Author

  1. John C. Peckham
    © Darren Hislop

    John C. Peckham

    John C. Peckham (PhD, Andrews University) is research professor of theology and Christian philosophy at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. His numerous books include Divine Attributes: Knowing the Covenantal God of Scripture, Theodicy...

    Continue reading about John C. Peckham